Tag Archives: addiction

Talking to your Kids about Substance Abuse

By Cassidy Webb

When I started using drugs at 15 years old, I thought my parents had no idea. I was positive that I hid it well,but I was wrong. I thought that because I was still playing basketball and making good grades nobody would know I was abusing drugs and alcohol.

My parents had always planned to move to a small town in Arkansas when I graduated high school so they could build a big beautiful home for retirement, so it came as a surprise when they abruptly told me we were moving the summer before my junior year.

Instead of being honest and telling me we were moving early in an attempt to drag me away from the group of friends I was getting involved with, they told me we were moving because they got a good deal on a piece of land to purchase. I didn’t find out until after I got sober that they were grasping for straws to save my life.

When we moved to Arkansas, nothing changed. I continued to use drugs. I was selected to be drug tested at my school. Since it wasn’t a public school, they were allowed to drug test any students who were involved in extracurricular activities. Upon failing the drug test, I told my parents the lie that I had only smoked weed once and just happened to get caught. I was simply given a slap on the wrist – not another word was said about my drug use.

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May ’18 Q&A – Confidence, Empathy and Shopping

Is it lack of confidence or too much control?

Q. Our 5-year old boy is struggling with confidence. He has difficulty focusing at school and we don’t want him to get behind. There are 22 kids in his class and the school has an expectation of work. Also has trouble focusing at soccer practice/games, anytime things are going on around him. He has no issues interacting with people, kids or adults. I believe he lacks confidence because he is afraid of trying new things. He doesn’t like to fail and gets frustrated easily when he can’t learn fast. He also gets very embarrassed when things don’t go as expected.

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Gaming: Hobby or Addiction?

Gaming: Hobby or Addiction?

Do you worry that your child who loves gaming more than anything else has an addiction?

If so, chances are you panic and fear a future for your child that is not pretty. In that emotional state you react in anger and wield threatening consequences when your child resists and get into ugly power struggles that create a wider and wider gulf between you. You feel hopeless and your child grabs for every screen second he can. “Consequences” do nothing.

There is a big difference between a hobby gamer and an addicted gamer — and you need to know the difference.

Gaming is a thrill for many kids. It’s an arena where success and feeling in charge are more easily achieved for children who don’t find it in school or social relationships. It’s easy to connect with others through a game, and mastery is euphoric. It’s the mastery part that can be addictive, especially for the child who finds it nowhere else.

When gaming is a hobby:

I am a big proponent of trust — allowing your child to self-regulate , which he can do best when he knows he is trusted, when you talk about time spent on devices and set limits that you both agree are reasonable. Nagging, threatening, and taking away privileges will lead your child to hoard game time and get sneakier and more divisive with his screentime.

Think about it. Whether a hobby or addiction, how do you think your child feels when you criticize and punish what she loves so much? She will learn quickly that you don’t understand and connection — and with it, any hope of influence — is lost.

Internet games, youtube, facebook, snapchat are scary for parents and can be a panacea for kids. Finding connection with your child in this area is tough but essential to maintain. When your child thinks you understand how fun it is, how much he would rather game than do almost anything else, and even let’s you play with him, then you have a launching pad to discuss what feels right for both of you.

  • Make agreements that are reevaluated regularly.
  • Play games with your child.
  • Do not use consequences to force turning off devices, unless they are logical and your child has had part in agreeing to the consequence.
  • Understand that just “going outside” is not enough motivation. Because mastery is a critical component of gaming, decide with your child another skill he can get involved with that has that essential element.

When gaming turns to an addiction:

Cam Adair, founder of gamequitters.com is an ex-gaming addict who once fit your worse nightmare of your gamer. His amazing story is here. He is now passionate about helping gaming addicts quit. He says the most important things for parents to understand is:

  • Gaming offers an escape from an otherwise unexciting life.
  • Video games are a challenge than bring with it extreme motivation even when you see that motivation nowhere else in your child’s life.
  • They provide a source for constant measurable growth.
  • All good games are social. No need to get together with friends. Non-multiplayer games are fun but for only a limited time.
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